And the day I brought this kitty home
as a 12 week old kitten home from a Dallas suburb no kill shelter called, Operation Kindness. The shelter remains today in a bigger and better facility. Back on that 1990 Summer day tho, I'd been laid-off for a month and half and mourned the loss of my fat cat Morris from feline leukemia. This disease was new on the horizon. I'd let Morris run around one too many times outside and he'd gotten into a fight. Breaks my heart even after all these years. I knew I would get another cat--yet being unemployed, and already with one cat-Millee, who was actually Morris' mom, and thankfully negative for FeLv--I thought I ought to hold off.
**A friend of mine goes, "Hold off for what? A kitty needs you." Didn't need to twist my arm twice.
***Anyway, the night of the 19th, I went to Operation Kindness and spent what I"m sure seemed like forever in there. As I was about to walk out--with empty hands--one of the shelter ladies, took me to a cage. This bundle of furr snoozed while those in the cage played around him. The lady said his name was Tiger. I knew right then, the name would change if I took him. I picked Tiger up, which woke him up. He was cute, yet I wasn't fallin' over backwards, until he began to lick my face. I think the shelter lady wasn't sure what I'd do, so she quickly said Tiger had been taken away from his mom too soon--hence he licked my face. In fact, Tiger had already been with somebody, but they brought him back.
***I melted with the kitty kisses, but gave Tiger back to the patient shelter lady. I'd have to sleep on it, I told her. Of course, by the time I got home, I regretted not taking the kitten. I would have gone back then, but Operation Kindness was closed for the night. The next morning, July 20th, I called Operation Kindness ter--shortly after they'd opened. The lady who introduced me to Tiger answered the phone and remembered me, but said another lady had been in that morning already. That lady talked like she was going to come and get Tiger. My heart sank. The lady told me to get there PDQ--she knew I saw Tiger first, but she couldn't "hold' him. I flew out of my apartment right after I told the lady I was coming to get my cat. I'm not even sure I hung the phone up--this was way before cell phones--
****Once at Operation Kindness, the same lady helped me with Tiger, and another woman said, "Was there someone else..." And the lady who helped me told her yes, but announced how I'd been there last night and this morning I wanted him. I got there first. I remember the other lady had a not so pleasant look on her face, but said nothing. I hoped the other Tiger lover wouldn't shop up. As I did the paperwork, wondering where/when I was going to get a new job to pay for my newest member, Tiger got a bath and little blue collar. He wasn't happy with either one. I just hoped he would be happy with me.
Tiger became Brenner, because of Yul Brynner being the King in the classic "The King and I" and well, Tiger was part Siamese. My sweet Brenner Bren and I had each other til 2001 when cancer waged a good war against Brenner and won.
***Even now--after all these years, I still expect to look at a basket of warm, fresh right out of the dryer clean clothes and my own King of Siam, Brenner nestled right in the middle as if the basket were his throne.
I heart Cats and pretty darn proud of it.
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